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coverpic flag US - New Jersey - Full Moon 33 - 06/28/99

Women in Rock
Shrimper Records

Apart from swinging the bass in the mucho brilliant Yo La Tengo, James McNew has got this "secret" side project called Dump. Maybe to let some of his own ideas out (so far he's put out a handful of singles and 3 albums), because in YLT he's the steady guy on the flank. However, he did contribute the indeed charming, Neil Youngish pop-song Stockholm Syndrome on YLT's last album.

Women in Rock is a mini album, and it's breezing through the same atmosphere as the music of his "day time" band. It's intro-ed by the 2 minute instrumental Horrible, which is some kind of laid-back and minimalist air-raid noise. Not horrible, but ... odd. The Words get Stuck in My Throat is a more regular shy-boy quiet rock song, and the most focused track on this disc. Lucy Grealy is another close-to-instrumental track, with a light organ, a hi-hat rhythm, some chorus and not much more. The whole record is colored by a simple instrumentation; organ, bass, and discreet humming, which really fits the expression of the compositions. Loved is another fine instrumental tune, quiet and tender (and, yes, it's hard to avoid mentioning Yo La Tengo again, as a reference). A Plea for Dump ends the album, with fragile guitars and vocals. I'm not sure who's playing what, and if there are other people than James playing, since the cover sheet says nothing (by the way, the cover painting is done by Aggi of The Pastels). On earlier Dump recordings both Ira and Georgia of Yo La Tengo have been involved. Maybe they're in the crew here as well?

The album is a bit to short to get really into the world of James McNew. Nevertheless, keep an eye on Dump. I guess James has got plenty more sketches in his drawer. If he's not going to dump it?

Copyright © 1999 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Dump article/review: A Grown-Ass Man.

© 2011 Luna Kafé